Micro- and macroscopic aspects of large-strain deformation are examined through analyses of shear by using physical and phenomenological models. Past experiments and analyses are first reviewed to reveal current issues and put the present work in perspective. These issues are addressed by a complete set of simulations of large-strain shear with a finite-strain, rate-dependent polycrystal model. The model is based on a rigorous constitutive theory for crystallographic slip that accounts for the development of crystallographic texture and the effects of texture on constitutive response. The influences of strain hardening, latent hardening, strain-rate sensitivity, boundary constraints, and initial textures on texture evolution and constitutive response are studied. Coupled stress and strain effects such as axial elongation during unconstrained shear and the development of normal stresses during constrained shear are related to material properties, boundary constraint and texture. The formation of ideal textures and their role in determining polycrystalline behaviour is discussed in quantitative terms. Large-strain shear is also studied by using several phenomenological constitutive theories including
J2 -flow theory, J2 -corner theory, and two versions of finite-strain kinematic hardening theory. The behaviours predicted by these phenomenological theories and the physically based polycrystal model are directly compared. A noteworthy outcome is the close correspondence found between the predictions of J2 -corner theory and those of the micromechanically based physical model.